One minute. That’s how long you have to escape when your smoke alarm warns you that your house is on fire. And that’s assuming your smoke alarms are even working. Have you checked them this month?
West Lincoln Fire and Emergency Services urges everyone to take the necessary steps to protect themselves from the dangers of fire in the home. In North America, the attitude towards fire safety, for the most part, is that “it’s not my problem, it won’t happen to me.” But the fact is that unless you take the steps to protect yourself, you are placing yourself at risk.
Having the fire department respond to your home is the last line of defence when it comes to fire safety – something has gone wrong and the fire department is now trying to save lives and property. But, consider this sobering fact – modern construction techniques, along with the materials used in modern furnishings, means that fires are burning hotter and faster than ever. From the time a fire starts in a room, flashover will typically occur within five minutes. Flashover means the temperature in the room has become so extremely hot that everything in the room ignites, basically turning the room into a large fireball. If you’re anywhere in your house when this occurs, the chances of survival are very slim.
The two most important things you can do to protect yourself are to have working smoke alarms on every level of your home and have an escape plan. Smoke alarms give you the early warning you need to escape safely while escape plans help to avoid delays and confusion. As part of your escape plan, every person in the house should know two ways out in case fire is blocking the main escape route. Also, have a designated meeting place so that you can make sure everyone made it out safely.
Any West Lincoln resident who is interested in a home fire safety check can contact the fire department at (905) 957-6730 to book an appointment. The visit is free and will assist residents in identifying fire hazards in their homes as well as providing other fire safety advice.
Still think it can’t happen to you? Fire Departments across Ontario respond to more than 8000 structure fires every year involving loss of property or life. Think again…..